The lucky fish remained lucky as no one caught the Million Dollar Mahi at the Sea Vee/Mercury Grove SLAM! dolphin tournament this past weekend. What was caught was some impressive fish totaling cash prizes and an impressive dock party.
The SLAM! started out with the dock party of the year hosted at Shake-A-Leg in Coconut Grove on Thursday, May 3rd. Over 1,000 anglers, friends, sponsors, and fans came out to enjoy the festivities, check-in, get their swag, receive final instructions, eat, drink and be merry. Open bars by Bacardi and Presidente beer kept the crowd happy as they checked out vendors and sponsored booths dockside. By the end of registration, 118 boats were signed up and ready for battle.
Just before sunrise on Saturday May 5th, boats lined up in the waters off Coconut Grove for The Bimini Start — a shotgun start, which everyone will agree is the most exciting moment in all of fishing. Footage shot from a helicopter shows all boats waiting and listening to their marine radio for the tournament director to start the countdown. At “zero”, throttles were pushed to the limit as teams bolted into the open ocean. There is nothing quite like that adrenaline rush.
The excitement was still high when the weigh-station opened at 3:30 p.m., and teams started arriving with their catch. People eagerly watched to see what teams pulled out of their fish bags and coolers. Perhaps the most colorful team was “O-SEA-D”, which always makes an entrance with some sort of commotion. They adorned their quad-Mercury powered Sea Vee with full Mexican regalia, and sported sombreros, ponchos and mustaches. They even had a burro costume onboard. Still, this team meant business. Their catch, a 41.21 pound bull was top fish and won them $11,740.
Every fish that team “Peacekeeper” pulled drew oohs and aahs from the onlookers. Their total weight of 108.88 pounds more than doubled the second place team, “Rabbit’s Foot”, with 48.90 pounds. Rounding out the top five were teams “All-Stars” with 43.35 pounds, “O-SEA-D” with 41.21 pounds, and “Mr. Glass” with 39.46 pounds. “Peacekeeper” took home $12,600.
Here are some more photos from the Grove SLAM! tournament last weekend: